Written by Kate Broddick   |   Posted on   |   62 views

HELP DECIDING WHETHER TO SELL YOUR HOME DURING WINTER

A lot of people ask me the question as to whether they should they list their home during the winter holidays or hold off until spring? Should they take their house off the market and wait until warmer weather? Conventional wisdom used to be that you shouldn’t even try to sell your home during the busy holiday season. Potential home buyers were too preoccupied with attending parties, cooking meals, buying presents or planning vacations.

With all that’s going on there just wouldn’t be time to ride around with a real estate agent looking at properties. But today with the Internet, smartphones, tablets and our always-on lifestyle, that conventional wisdom isn’t relevant anymore. The reality is, the home buying season is now year-round.

So, if you’ve been sitting on the fence, not sure what you should do, fear not and read on to find a whole lot of reasons why the winter holidays are actually a great time to sell your home!

TODAY’S BUYERS NEVER STOP LOOKING ONLINE

Today, serious home buyers are always looking and the winter holidays are no exception. As we start to snuggle in and hibernate for winter, a lot of people are starting to take a long look around their current house and what they wish they had in a home.

They may check out the latest listings on Realtor.ca before bed or while waiting for the kids’ school holiday pageant to start. Even during this hectic time of year, people will make the time to look at listings if they’re serious about moving.

Today’s buyers are savvy enough to know that if they’re considering a new home, they need to continually look at what’s on the market for fear of losing it to another buyer in this fast-paced market!

THE INVENTORY AND COMPETITION IS USUALLY LIGHTER

Despite the fact that there are plenty of serious buyers at this time of year, many sellers are just still too gun-shy about listing their home at this time of year too. That means there is less inventory for motivated buyers to choose from. And that means less competition for you.

Imagine having so many motivated buyers clambering to see your home because there’s nothing else like it on the market. That’s a great position for you to be in as a seller. Remember your high school economics class about supply and demand?

Christmas ornaments

 

A GREAT TIME FOR THAT PRICE REDUCTION

If your property has been on the market for a while, most buyers and their agents will see it as stale or overpriced and disregard it (no matter how great it is or how light the competition is). In that case, it’s time to take action. The year-end holidays can be a great opportunity to shift course. Reducing the price or overcoming some major obstacle that’s been preventing the sale might be what’s needed to sell your home.

If you received lower offers early on but weren’t ready to accept them, or you keep hearing there are issues with how your property shows, this is a good time to show the market you’re listening and are serious about selling. The motivated buyers, desperate for good inventory, will notice you and take a look.

THINK ABOUT JANUARY!

Admittedly, the thought of keeping the house clean, holding open houses and leaving at the drop of a hat to accommodate last-minute showings during the holidays can be a deal-breaker for some sellers. I get it. It’s a lot of work to get ready to sell. So if you’re too overwhelmed, consider listing your property after New Year’s Day.

January’s inventory is still very light, so you will have less competition. As well, buyers that are looking for a spring closing date will be hot on the trail of their next home during the month of January. Some buyers are also motivated to search for a home in January because of year-end tax planning.

Whatever the buyers’ motivation, for sellers it means one thing: demand for homes can increase at a time when inventory is traditionally low. And that means if you’re ready to sell, you’ll have an even more “captive” audience during the holidays, all the way through January.

wreath door

PLAY ON THEIR HEARTSTRINGS!

Emotion plays a huge role in which home a buyer eventually chooses, and you can capitalize on that by making your home cozy and cheery during showings. Tasteful decorations and a minimum of clutter will allow buyers to see their own families celebrating the holidays in your home next year.

Make sure your decorations enhance rather than detract from your home’s best features, and remember to remove them as soon as the season is over. If possible, try not to have the Christmas decorations up when your home is photographed for the listing — if your home is still for sale in the new year, the photos will seem dated.

WINTER HOME MAINTENANCE TO HELP SELL YOUR HOME

As the winter comes whooshing in, and the frost starts to bite, I want to give you some tips on selling your home when weather is less than ideal. Think: blizzards, ice storms, frost, salty and icky roads. Sometimes we can’t avoid putting our home up for sale in the winter time. And that’s okay! With a few extra steps, your home can really “shine” in those dark, cold winter months!

OUTDOOR MAINTENANCE

Obviously, we don’t want anyone slipping and falling as they walk into your home for a showing. Broken bones don’t leave a very good impression on potential buyers! So take a minute to go through this checklist and make sure you’ve got your bases covered:

  • keep driveways and walkways clean and free of snow and ice
  • sprinkle ice melter on these areas to ensure ice doesn’t build up. (TIP: salt can be harmful on concrete; whenever possible, opt for blue ice melter)
  • ensure that gates to the backyard are easily accessible with clear pathways
  • if you have pets, shovel a single area for them to do their business. Nothing is worse than yellow snow and “landmines” throughout the backyard.
  • make sure outdoor lightbulbs are working, and lights are on for easy maneuvering. It gets dark early!

INDOOR MAINTENANCE

When it’s wet and icy and miserable outdoors, we don’t want to bring it indoors. Keep these in mind:

  • large mats at the entrances of the home are a must. Spend $10 on a floor mat, and save your time mopping or cleaning muck out of tile grout.
  • again, it gets dark early and no home shows well in the dark. Lights, non-flame candles and music create an ambience that feels cozy on cold days.
  • keep the heat turned up for showings. Coming in from the outdoors into a toasty home is very appealing. If you have a gas fireplace, turn it on! It’s easy to imagine yourself curled up next to a fire on a -30 degree night!
  • if you’re going to add a scent, make sure it’s mild in nature. Warm apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, or hot chocolate are great winter scents!

A little bit of extra effort goes a long way when it’s cold and miserable outside! Leave the best impression in every buyer’s mind and you’ll be in for a quick, pleasant sale.

So there you have it. Give us a call and we will be happy to give you a free, no obligation home evaluation so you have a better idea of what your house could be listed at in today’s market. Let’s get your house SOLD!

Kate Broddick

Real Estate Sales Representative, Team Leader

kate@teamkate.ca
519-774-6664
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*All information provided by the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) for the highest sales volume and highest number of completed transactions since January 1, 2015. All Brantford MLS® House Listings come from the various systems operated by Real Estate Boards and Associations across Canada. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used underlicense. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.

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